Postcards from Three Pines: Still Life

Still Life Postcard
“Here in Quebec. Finally started writing. I think I’ll call it STILL LIFE. What do you think? Struggling a bit with fear but inspired by the fall colours. ”
AN EXCERPT FROM STILL LIFE

Three Pines wasn’t on any tourist map, being too far off any main or even secondary road. Like Narnia, it was generally found unexpectedly and with a degree of surprise that such an elderly village should have been hiding in this valley all along. Anyone fortunate enough to find it once usually found their way back. And Thanksgiving, in early October, was the perfect time. The weather was usually crisp and clear, the summer scents of old garden roses and phlox were replaced by musky autumn leaves, woodsmoke and roast turkey.

Three huge pine trees faced [Gamache] at the far end of the green. Between him and them was a pond, a bunch of sweater-clad children circling it, hunting for frogs, he supposed. The village green sat, not surprisingly, in the center of the village, a road called The Commons circling it with homes, except behind him, which seemed to be the commercial district. It was a very short commercial. It consisted, as far as Gamache could see, of a depanneur whose Pepsi sign read ‘Beliveau’. Beside that was a boulangerie, the Bistro and a bookstore. Four roads led off The Commons, like the spokes of a wheel, or the directions of a compass.

As he sat quietly and let the village happen around him he was impressed by how beautiful it was, these old homes facing the green, with their mature perennial gardens and trees. By how natural everything looked, undesigned. And the pall of grief that settled on this little community was worn with dignity and sadness and a certain familiarity. This village was old, and you don’t get to be old without knowing grief. And loss.

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: Still Life

  1. Joan Jackson says:

    I’ve loved the vivid description of the three pines and village surrounding since I first read Still Life. When sleep escapes me, I take myself there and breathe in the scents and sounds, nurturing myself in this lovely place.

  2. Alyce Langford says:

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who will say those paragraphs were a hook that immediately drew me into the book. They were enough to make me want with all my heart to live there. And then when I read the descriptions of the food, the warmth, the camaraderie well what can I say …

  3. Brenda Hardee says:

    I too decided to reread all your books this summer. I’m almost done and have enjoyed them as much the second time as the first. I’ve never been to Canada and I love your beautiful description of the landscape and the people in the books. I look forward with great anticipation to each new book and know it will be my new favorite. I’m sure this one will be no exception.

  4. Kay says:

    Three Pines has had a special place in my imagination and my heart since this first volume. Thank you for creating it and the post cards.

  5. Teri Bologna says:

    Louise, it’s amazing that right from the beginning, Three Pines and all our beloved “friends” seemed to spring fully formed from your vivid imagination. Best experience I have ever had with books. Thank you!

  6. Jane Backus says:

    I too have reread the Gamache series…a kind of mental vacation to a favorite spot with dear friends. There is something about Ruth that pulls at my heart…I see many of these dear folks in the people around me…November’s release eagerly anticipated!

  7. Marcia Evans says:

    Your ability to make the reader immediately nostalgic for a place we’ve never been and at the same time know that it is inhabited by real people with complex lives, shortcomings, and foibles draws me right in to Three Pines! Somehow it is as close as my own home to this Ohio girl!

  8. Brenda Lowe says:

    When I first started to read your books the way you described the village of Three Pines I thought in my head that I was right there with him. It made me want to go there. I have read all your books and can’t wait for Kingdom of the Blind to come out. My daughter has preordered it for me cuz I have told her all about Gamache and the wonderful people who live in Three Pines. I feel like I know them as my friends. You are a amazing writer.

  9. Leslie Danihel says:

    Thank you so much for thinking of yet a wonderful way to connect to your readers through the postcards! Before each new book comes out I re-read the whole series to once again enjoy this wonderful village and it’s people.

  10. Sue Mapes says:

    A good friend introduced me to your wonderful and intriguing writings. I was immediately hooked and was truly bummed that there was no such place as Three Pines….lol! All I can say is thank you for sharing your gift to us, your loyal readers❣️

  11. Georgia Durocher says:

    This is a beautiful inspiring description. Thank you for doing this for your readers. I love it and your books.

  12. Melissa Dively says:

    This is a wonderful idea and helps me flesh out my mental image of Three Pines which is already detailed by your wonderfully descriptive writing.

  13. Karen Lewis says:

    Thank you for the postcard. It brought back the warm feelings, sites, and smells of a place I would love to visit.

  14. Ellen says:

    This short postcard immediately pulled me back into Three Pines. I felt all the emotions I feel every time I read one of the books. Thank you!

  15. Sharon Canipe says:

    A lovely way to revisit a favorite place. Thank you for bringing your readers reminders of why the books are so special.

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